This is the first look at how a Blackpool bar ravaged by a devastating blaze could look after a £3m makeover.
Walkabout on Queen Street is to re-open at the end of October with an “authentic Aussie” feel.
The three-storey building was engulfed in flames after a fire broke out between the first and second floors at 5.30am on June 19 this year.
Staff at the venue, a group of Australians who lived in flats above, were forced to flee when the fire alarms sounded and their attempts to tackle the blaze were thwarted.
Now they are looking forward to returning to their home and reopening the popular nightspot complete with a new outdoor dining area, first floor balcony and dancefloor.
Venue manager Nick Kyriakou said: “I love that we’re getting it all back.”
And John Creighton, Blackpool-born operations manager for Walkabout, said: “As well as being a flagship Walkabout it’s my hometown, it’s not just another Walkabout for me, it’s home.”
The venue is changing its focus to food-centred and aiming to be a bar like in an Australian city rather than its old “plastic Aussie” feel, say managers.
A wall along the ground floor will be filled with authentic Australian beers and the majority of the downstairs will be used for seating for food and drinks.
Where the first-floor bar balcony area used to look over the ground floor, the area has now been covered over to create a dancefloor on the first floor, and the large windows looking out over Queen Street are set to be replaced with an open balcony area, protected from the elements by a wall onto The Strand.
The once two-storey high sports screens are being replaced with 10 screens showing a selection of Australian themed images, with other televisions around the venue to show sports.
Mr Creighton said: “Upstairs will be party, downstairs will be a lot cooler.
“We’re going for a more aspirational feel.”
Managers anticipate creating around 20 new jobs when the venue reopens on October 31, along with the 40 previous staff including some of the 13 Australians who lived above the venue and were left homeless after the fire.
More than 70 firefighters fought the blaze which was sparked by an electrical fault.
An investigation revealed it was likely the fire started in an illuminated outdoor sign and flames then travelled undetected through a void inside the building.